News Local/State

Health Care Law Means Champaign County To Have Largest Medicaid Growth


With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the Kaiser Family Foundation says Champaign County will see the highest percentage growth in the state of people signing up for Medicaid, with 15,000 new enrollees.

Claudia Lennhoff, who is the executive director of Champaign County Health Care Consumers, is working to link new Medicaid enrollees with primary care doctors and information about preventive care.

 Still, with more people able to access health care, Lennhoff said wait times at hospitals and other care facilities will likely go up.

“I do think we will see an increase in the number of patients coming to the health care system because there are a lot of people out there right now who are hurting who have health issues that they’ve been afraid to address because they didn’t have the means to pay for it," she said. "So, we will see an increase, but whether it’s an avalanche only time will tell.”

By Oct. 1, people across the country can start shopping for health insurance through a new online marketplace.

Groups, like Champaign County Health Care Consumers and the Champaign Urbana Public Health District, are providing services to help people understand their options.